Revolutionizing Helmet Lighting: A Comprehensive Comparison

3-min read

In the world of motorcycle gear, there's a balance between safety, style, and functionality. One crucial aspect that often gets overlooked is helmet lighting. Whether it's for visibility on the road or making a personal statement, helmet lights can be essential for any rider. But not all helmet lights are created equal.

Enter the LightMode Night Shift - a innovative RGB LED helmet lighting system designed to not only illuminate your helmet but also elevate your style. In this comprehensive comparison, we'll dive into the world of helmet lighting, pitting the Night Shift against various cheap alternatives to see how it truly shines.

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The Contenders

The comparison features four contenders:

  1. Generic LED strip ($15, AliExpress)
  2. Generic LED tube ($26, AliExpress)
  3. Electroluminescent light strips ($20, Amazon)
  4. Night Shift ($249, www.lightmodehelmets.com)

Packaging and Presentation

Right off the bat, the Night Shift sets itself apart with custom packaging, emphasizing attention to detail and protection during shipping.

The cheap alternatives, in contrast, come with afterthought packaging, highlighting their bargain-bin origins.

Introducing

The Generic LED Strip

This LED strip is not designed for any specific application. It's generic. It can be controlled by a little remote and comes with a portable battery pack so you can take it to go.

However, even though the LED strip has an insulation layer over the LEDs, it was not designed for outdoor use. There are no water proofing features on the cable system or power controller. It is also unclear if the clear insulation will turn yellow from prolonged UV exposure.

You'd think you could run the LED strip all the way around, but unfortunately, due to the curavture of the helmet, the LED strip ripples across the bottom. This is why it's better to have one light strip for each side of your helmet.

Introducing

The Generic LED Tube

The LED tube is designed for indoor applications like home accent lighting. It also comes with a remote to choose your light settings.

It's powered by a standard electrical outlet and also has no water proofing features. Clearly not intended for motorcycle use, so why did we bother including this in the comparison?

Well, we wanted to show you an option that has diffused LED light to compare with the Night Shift. While the LED tube is diffused, it is far too thick to use on a helmet, even if the power source was portable.

Introducing

The Electroluminescent Light Strip

This EL light is advertised for motorcycle helmet use, but offers no way to mount the power box to the helmet. There's no water proofing features for the wires and controller.

The controller takes 2 x AA batteries. It's worth noting that the lights accidentally shut off every time it sensed a bit of vibration.

On the plus side, the light strips are mirrored and a good length for helmets. However, if you manage to reliably stick the controller to your helmet, you'll need to find a way to secure all the excess wiring.

Introducing

The Night Shift

The LightMode Night Shift is an app-controlled LED kit specifically designed for helmets. You can set the colors and animations on your phone via bluetooth.

It comes with a curved mount that allows you to clip your controller on and off your helmet, extension wires, charging cable, and a 1-year warranty.

It has water resistant features like these tiny rubber gaskets to prevent water from seeping to the connectors, heat shrink tubing with glue for a water tight seal, UV resistant insulation for the LEDs, and conformal coating on the controller circuit board.

The Night Shift LED strips come with 3M adhesives backing for an easy peel/stick install. Watch how to install here.

Last but not least

Brightness Showdown

For this test, we set up a light meter at 6 inches and 0 inches away from our light sources (one at a time).

At 6 inches from our lux meter, all LED options scored in the 20's with a slight edge going to the Night Shift at 29 lux.

The only reason why we did the 0 inch test was because the EL lights were so dim, they didn't even register at 6 inches.

At 0 inches, we see all the LED options score in the hundreds, and the EL lights score about 5 lux.

Conclusions

In summary, while cheap alternatives may offer initial cost savings, they lack essential features like waterproofing, proper mounting options, and reliability. The LightMode Night Shift stands out as a superior option due to its design, features, and overall quality.

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